First Day Home

I’ve spent countless hours reading stories on this priceless website, learning, crying, smiling and I have been on a crazy emotional roller coaster ride since August 20, 2020 when our vet told us that Zeus has osteosarcoma in his left wrist. As many have experienced before me, I thought he injured his leg running wild and just needed some pain meds or maybe an x-ray to see if it is broken. Fast forward over some really unpleasant days, conversations, x-ray images, phone calls and near accidents, we have our pooch back home from the hospital. The surgery went really well and we are waiting for the pathology report now and options – chemo etc.

And who is this Zeus? He is a 7 year old vizsla who looks and acts like a puppy. He was the largest pup in his litter – way too big according to breeders, and that’s why we picked him. His legs are loooong and have always been sensitive, especially front ones. I don’t know if that played any part in the development of sarcoma or not but it’s just something that, in retrospect, could have been a sign of what’s to come. He is a goofball, loves people but is picky and I can always tell a bit about a person based on Zeus’s initial “assessment”. He is my radar for good and not so good. He is a swimmer and a runner but as a pointer/retriever dog that he should be, he can’t point, or retrieve, if his life depended on it. Twice he thought it would be a good idea to play with a skunk. He is petrified of cats, wind, and just random things like gnomes, Halloween decorations, lemon, phone chargers etc. But he is a healer, he knows when you need help and is there for you no matter what.

Night number one is well upon us and we had to increase his painkillers. We have some pretty good meds and hope he goes through this with as little pain as possible but he has been having a rough night so far. As I sit here on the floor next him I am in this heart and soul – no matter what it takes. All else comes second or doesn’t come at all. We are on this adventure together and it will be an epic one!!

12 thoughts on “First Day Home”

  1. Oh Zeus!! Hoping for a speedy, pain free recovery.
    My 12 year old GSP is exactly one week post op today and has more life in her tonight than she has in 6 weeks. Similar story to Zeus, I thought the same thing and even on the same leg. The first few nights were the hardest but worth every minute.
    Sending love and reiki to Zeus!!

    1. Thank you so much – we are on our second night and it is very hard. He’s developed a swelling so we are waiting to hear back from the hospital if we should take him in. We just sent them a photo of it and waiting for the emerg vet to look at it. I know I am not the first or last to go through this but at this very minute, I am questioning our decisions..He has been having such a hard time these past two days and it breaks my heart completely.
      I am so happy to hear that your pup is doing great – that gives me a bit of reassurance and hope!

  2. Hang in there. You are kn the hardest part of recovery. It gets better, PROMISE!!
    This is MAJOR surgery, all while trying to adjust to thre while on pain meds! Zeus does not feel like throwing a pawty yet. Nor would aany hooman! They would still be in the hospital on a morphine drip!!
    Some swelling in the other limb happens, or you may be seeing a seroma…..a big sack of fluid. Anyway, good idea to send a photo to the Vet.
    Is Zeus drinking and peeing? Mobile yet (and if hasn’t gotten his sea legs yet, that okay)? Eating and pooping may be off for a few days.
    And yes, the seond guessing we all do. My first post here was on Day Six. It was something like. “Help, I fear I have made a horrible decision!” It took me longer than many. But st the three week mark I was finally able to say K did this FOR my Hapoy Hannah and not TO her!
    And I loooooved getting to know your to handsome loveable, delightful Zeus!! It was so much fun reading about all his little quirks. Thank you so much for letting us get to know Zeus.
    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

    1. The hospital called us back and you are so right, they said it is most likely fluid build-up because it is soft and looks like a balloon filled with water. He has been panting pretty much since yesterday. Not a lot of sleep at all. He can’t seem to get any rest. He has been mobile since they brought him out to us and he actually got into our car almost on his own (!). He is drinking and eating. He has been able to go out and pee, and pee a LOT but no poop yet. I know better days are ahead and each day is an improvement over the last but all this panting and restlessness is not looking like the meds are working. We are booked for tomorrow to take him in so I hope they make some adjustments. Even his pack and bandages are loose and I can see part of the incision. I’m super worried but at the same time I am beyond grateful for this site and for all of your support, directly and indirectly, it all helps sooo much. I hope he gets some relief tomorrow after the appointment.
      One day I too will say I did this FOR him, I will get there.

  3. Good luck with Zeus!!! Our dog Jules is in surgery right now and we get to pick him up tonight, I know tonight will be rough but thinking big picture that this is the best for them! Someone told me the other day, you know what’s happier than a dog on 4 legs? A dog on 3 🙂 We are all in this together!! Hugs to you and Zeus!

    1. I hope Jules is back home and resting comfortably!! We had a very rough two days and only because they prescribed too much Gabapentin. Zeus had high anxiety because of it – heavy panting, pacing back and forth, extremely restless. Since we reduced it to one pill a day he has been so much better – a huge change. We were told that some dogs have a reaction to the medication – I just wish they told us in advance so we could have been on the lookout for the symptoms and stopped it sooner.
      Lots of love to Jules!!! 🙂

  4. Just now catching up with Zeus’ blog and hope that things are going smoothly this weekend. He is such a lovely, handsome and quirky/funny pup, we are so glad you joined us (but sorry you had to because of cancer). Whatever we can do to help during this journey please don’t hesitate to ask OK?

    By the way, be sure to check out Bart the Vizsla’s blog and Hank the Tank. You’ll want to read from the beginning, not the most recent posts, and I promise you it’s worth it. Those Vizsla doggies will inspire you!

  5. Welcome to the journey. We are a few weeks ahead of you and navigating the turbulence of the ups and downs still. I’m not sure my advice is all that helpful considering where we are, but I will say that I have learned a few things (1) the pup is probably handling this better than you are (certainly the case with me) and will at some point be ahead of where YOU are in the recovery. Turns out, we get PTSD, too. The first time Oliver jumped up on the couch, I nearly had a heart attack and he looked at me like I was insane. (2) The days when he’s slower and quieter are just days to keep an eye out but not panic. This isn’t remotely linear which was/is an adjustment for me and so I’ve had to learn to absorb the times when he’s just not feeling it. He’s rebounded quickly enough and so I’m just learning to learn what his new rhythm is.

    Good luck. This place is a godsend.

    1. Thank you! This place is truly godsend. The wealth of information, support and guidance are absolutely amazing. We are in this together and I am learning already that I am taking this so much harder than Zeus – he is clueless for the most part 🙂

  6. Thank you for having the courage to post about Zeus’ journey! Our Georgia is also seven with osteosarcoma in her left wrist, and we went through the exact same thought pattern! I believed she sprained it acting like a puppy with her sister! We pick her up from surgery tomorrow and reading about your experience and others comments have really help to better prepare me. I really resonated with your comment on knowing we didn’t do this TO them but rather FOR them. Zeus is lucky to have such wonderful parents and you should feel proud of how brave he is and you are! Sending him speedy healing wishes and peace of mind for you.

    1. This website helped me tremendously. First two weeks are tough, I have to say, with the first couple of days really tough, but they pull through and get better – just keep that in mind, they get over this faster that we ever do. We celebrate small milestones now – like, Zeus peed without tipping over 🙂
      We are thinking of Georgia. She will recover like a champ in no time!!

      1. Thank you so much for these kind words! We definitely have our hands full over hear so we can use all the encouragement and support! Congrats to Zeus on his newest achievement! many more to come!

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